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32 Engaging Five Senses Activities Kids Love
Help them see, hear, smell, touch, and taste the world!
Learning about the five senses is a classic preschool and kindergarten unit. Yes, it’s fun to watch students taste something super sour, or take a listening walk around the school, but why do we teach the five senses? Here’s everything you need to teach the five senses, including rationale, books, songs, and activities.
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What are the five senses?
The five senses are the primary ways that we experience the world around us.
- Sight: how we see light and color
- Sound: how we hear frequencies of sound
- Taste: how we taste sweet, salt, sour, bitter, and umami
- Smell: how we identify chemicals in the air and flavors of food
- Touch: our skin identifies pressure, vibrations, and other types of touch
Why do students need to learn about the five senses?
When we teach students about the five senses, we teach them about their bodies and how they experience the world around them. That’s just the beginning. The five senses are foundational, and spending time examining, experimenting, and understanding the five senses helps students:
- Focus on one thing at a time: When we ask students to just taste or just listen, they are training themselves to focus and attend.
- Learn the scientific method : The process of asking questions and experimenting to learn more about the five senses is often students’ first opportunity to put the scientific method into action.
- Learn how humans take in information from the environment: Kids are learning how they work, and an important part of that is how we take in information and use it. Students will use their five senses throughout school and their lives to understand the world around them.
- Connect with other ideas: Talking about senses also exposes students to vocabulary and concepts that they’ll use in other areas. For example, talking about differences between tastes, or opposites like loud and quiet.
Activities To Teach the Five Senses
Here are our favorite ways to teach the five senses.
1. Head out for a five senses scavenger hunt
Childhood 101/Nature scavenger hunt via childhood101.com
A nature walk is one of the best ways to engage all five senses and introduce the concept to kids. Try it in different seasons for a new adventure each time!
Learn more: Nature Scavenger Hunt at Childhood 101
2. Hang a five senses anchor chart
Kindergarten Smiles/Five senses poster via KindergartenSmiles.blogspot.com
Post an anchor chart and fill it in as you discuss each of the senses and the body parts related to them. (Tip: Laminate your anchor charts so you can reuse them from year to year.)
Learn more: Five Senses Poster at Kindergarten Smiles
3. Make oobleck
Raising Dragons/Oobleck via RaisingDragons.com
Create oobleck with corn starch, water, and food coloring and see what words you can use to describe how it feels to touch, to drop, and to smush in your hands.
Learn more: Oobleck at Raising Dragons
4. Break out Mr. Potato Head
Fun With Firsties/Mr. Potato Head poster via NorthwesternKiddies.blogspot.com; A Little Pinch of Perfect/Mr. Potato Head activity via ALittlePinchofPerfect.com
Mr. Potato Head toys are perfect for teaching little ones about the five senses. Learn how to make a Potato Head poster from Fun With Firsties , then grab the free printable spinner from A Little Pinch of Perfect and use it to play a fun senses game.
5. Make a set of finger puppets
Simple Everyday Mom/Five senses puppets via SimpleEverydayMom.com
Get your free body-parts printable at the link below, then have kids color them, cut them out, and glue them to wood craft sticks. Use them for all sorts of five senses activities!
Learn more: Five Senses Puppets at Simple Everyday Mom
6. Sort objects according to senses
Preschool Toolbox/Senses sorting activity via ThePreschoolToolboxBlog.com
Sorting games are always fun for kids. Use a muffin tin to sort smaller items, or try Hula-Hoops for sorting larger items.
Learn more: Senses Sorting Activity at The Preschool Toolbox
7. Set up Five Senses Stations
We Have Kids/Five senses stations via WeHaveKids.com
Allow kids to explore each of the senses on their own with these stations. Visit the link for plenty of great ideas for what to include at each one.
Learn more: Five Senses Stations at We Have Kids
8. Use all your senses to explore popcorn
Play to Learn Preschool/Popcorn senses activity via PlaytoLearnPreschool.com
Popcorn is a terrific food for senses activities, especially if you can use an air popper to make it fresh while kids watch. Plus, you get a yummy, healthy snack when you’re done!
Learn more: Popcorn 5 Senses Activity at Play to Learn Preschool
9. Or try Pop Rocks instead
Little Bins for Little Hands/Pop Rocks activity via LittleBinsforLittleHands.com
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, tear open a few bags of Pop Rocks candy and use your senses to experience them to the fullest. Kids will go wild for this one!
Learn more: Pop Rocks Activity at Little Bins for Little Hands
10. Solve the case of salt vs. sugar
Kindergarten Kindergarten/Salt vs. Sugar activity via KindergartenKindergarten.com
Guide kids as they try to determine which jar has salt and which has sugar. The catch? The sense of taste is the last one they get to use!
Learn more: Salt vs. Sugar Activity at Kindergarten Kindergarten
11. Put on a pair of lookers
Mrs. Jones’ Creation Station/Lookers activity via MrsJonesCreationStation.com
In the clever story The Looking Book (Hallinan/Barton) , two boys discover the world around them after their mom gives them each a pair of “lookers”—which are really just toy glasses . Pass out pairs to your students and send them out to use their sense of sight.
Learn more: Lookers Activity at Mrs. Jones’ Creation Station
12. Explore up close with a magnifying glass
Stay at Home Educator/Magnifying glass activity via StayAtHomeEducator.com
Take the sense of sight even deeper with a magnifying glass. Show kids the tiny details their eyes can see with that bit of extra help.
Learn more: Magnifying Glass Activities at Stay at Home Educator
13. Take a listening walk
Teach Preschool/Listening walk via TeachPreschool.org
Inspire kids with a reading of The Listening Walk (Showers/Aliki) , then head outside to take one of your own! Make a list of the sounds you hear, or give kids a checklist (get a free printable one at the link below) of sounds to listen for.
Learn more: Listening Walk at Teach Preschool
14. Learn how sounds help you make decisions
Completely Kindergarten/Sound activity via CompletelyKindergarten.blogspot.com
This is a cool activity to help kids understand that while our five senses collect information, it’s our brain that helps us interpret information and make decisions. You can use this idea with hearing or any other sense.
Learn more: Sound Activity at Completely Kindergarten
15. Play a sound-matching game
Play to Learn Preschool/Matching eggs game via PlayToLearnPreschool.com
Fill plastic eggs or medicine bottles with a variety of small items. Ask kids to shake them and see if they can figure out what’s inside based on sound alone. It’s harder than they think!
Learn more: Sound Eggs at Play to Learn Preschool
16. Decide which flower smells the best
No Time for Flash Cards/Smell activity via NoTimeforFlashCards.com
Let kids use their sense of smell to decide which flowers smell the best. You can try this with all sorts of items, and remind kids that sometimes there’s no one right answer!
Learn more: Smell Activity at No Time for Flash Cards
17. Write scratch-and-sniff names
Fun-a-Day/Scratch-and-sniff names via Fun-a-day.com
Write the letters with glue, then sprinkle them with Jell-O powder. When it dries, kids can feel the texture and sniff the scent!
Learn more: Scratch-and-Sniff Names at Fun-a-Day
18. Sniff a collection of scent bottles
Things To Share and Remember/Scent bottles via Thingstoshareandremember.com
Add a few drops of essential oils to cotton balls and drop them into spice jars. Ask kids to sniff them without looking, and see if they can identify the smells.
Learn more: Scent Bottles at Things To Share and Remember
19. Go on a scent hunt
PreKinders/Scent hunt via Prekinders.com
This activity also uses essential oils, but this time you hide the scented cotton pads around the room and see if kids can sniff their way to the right locations!
Learn more: Scent Hunt at PreKinders
20. Test your sense of taste with jelly beans
Stay at Home Educator/Jelly bean tasting activity via StayAtHomeEducator.com
Looking for five senses activities for students with a sweet tooth? Jelly Belly Jelly Beans are known for their true-to-life flavors, which makes them perfect for a blind taste test. Want to make it even more interesting? Add some Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans into the mix!
Learn more: Jelly Beans Activity at Stay at Home Educator
21. Do an apple taste test
Play to Learn Preschool/Apple taste test via PlayToLearnPreschool.com
Our sense of taste is more subtle than kids might realize. It’s easy for them to recognize the taste of an apple, but they’ll be surprised to discover they can actually tell different kinds of apples apart too.
Learn more: Apple Taste Test at Play to Learn Preschool
22. Stroll down a sensory walk
Teaching Mama/Sensory walk via TeachingMama.org
Fill up a series of plastic tubs with different items like beads, sand, shaving cream, and more. Then let kids take a walk through them, experiencing all the different sensations.
Learn more: Sensory Walk at Teaching Mama
23. Build a texture board
Pre-K Pages/Texture board via Pre-KPages.com
This is such an easy DIY project! Just pick up an inexpensive cutting board, then attach fabrics and papers with different textures. Little fingers will love to explore them.
Learn more: Texture Board at Pre-K Pages
24. Describe how different things feel
Some of This & Some of That/Touch board via MandeeandBrandy.com
The sense of touch gives us some of the best descriptive words. Ask kids to feel a variety of items and list the adjectives they’d use to describe them.
Learn more: Touch Board at Some of This & Some of That
25. Make mystery touch boxes
PreKinders/Touch boxes via PreKinders.com
Turn empty tissue containers into mystery boxes! Drop an assortment of items into them, and ask kids to reach in and identify what they are using only their sense of touch.
Learn more: Touch Boxes at PreKinders
26. Make and use Whisper Phones
Oz Lit Teacher/Whisper phones via OzLitTeacher.com.au
Kids can hear their voices in their head, but what do they really sound like? Create whisper phones out of PVC pipe and put them in the reading area. Have students read stories to themselves, either by reading the words or reading the pictures.
Learn more: Whisper Phones at Oz Lit Teacher
27. Tasting bottles
Gift of Curiosity/Tasting bottles via GiftofCuriosity.com
Use little bottles with droppers to create taste bottles. Fill each bottle with a different taste. Some ideas:
- Sugar water or juice (sweet)
- Salt water (salty)
- Lemon or lime in water (sour)
- Cocoa powder dissolved in water (bitter)
Have students put a drop of each on their tongue (or in a spoon to taste) and record which taste they experience.
Learn more: Tasting Bottles at Gift of Curiosity
28. Create a flip-book
Mrs. Richardon’s Class/Flip book via MrsRichardsonsClass.com
A flip-book that combines images and words gives students a reference to prompt vocabulary as they’re working on other five senses activities.
Learn more: Flip Book at Mrs. Richardson’s Class
29. Peg the sense
Big World Teaching/Peg the sense activity via TeachersPayTeachers.com
An activity like this, where students look at a card and identify the sense that you use to experience each, could be a good practice activity for centers. It could also serve as an assessment that students can complete on their own.
Buy it: Peg the Sense Activity at Teachers Pay Teachers
30. Learn what it’s like to live without a sense
Saddle Up for 2nd Grade/Helen Keller activity via SaddleUpforSecondGrade.com
Once students have a feel for the five senses, teach them about how people who are blind or deaf use their other senses. Show students how to read a braille book (public libraries often have collections of braille books to check out), or put headphones on and watch a subtitled movie. This is a good time to read about Helen Keller and how she learned language through touch and smell.
Learn more: Hellen Keller Activity at Saddle Up for 2nd Grade
Read more: Helen Keller books for young readers
31. Sing songs about the five senses
If you’re looking for activities to teach the five sentences that include music and movement, try adding a five senses song to morning meeting to reinforce the vocabulary.
What is a morning meeting without Jack Hartman?
Another five senses song students will love!
32. Read books about the five senses
Read alouds are perfect activities to teach kids about the five senses. Picture books show students all the ways they use their senses, and some silly ways too.
My Five Senses by Aliki
This classic book is a straightforward informational text about our senses and what we do with each.
Buy it: My Five Senses on Amazon
I hear a Pickle by Rachel Isadora
This book puts a clever spin on the five senses with information about the various ways we can experience everyday items through our senses, like hearing a pickle (crunch!).
Buy it: I Hear a Pickle on Amazon
How Do Animals Use Their Five Senses by Alejandro Algarra
An overview of how animals use the five senses, and a starting point for a discussion about how the five senses shape who we are.
Buy it: How Do Animals Use Their Five Senses? on Amazon
Yummy Yucky by Leslie Patricelli
The board book is simple but effective. A little boy tastes all kinds of things, some are yummy and some are yucky.
Buy it: Yummy Yucky on Amazon
Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
In this book, students can point out what they see—it’s all about perspective. This reinforces the idea that we can all see things slightly differently.
Buy it: Duck! Rabbit! on Amazon
The Blind Men and the Elephant retold by Karen Beckstein
In this classic story, a blind man has to use his sense of touch to figure out what an elephant is.
Buy it: The Blind Men and the Elephant on Amazon
Ten Ways To Hear Snow by Cathy Camper
A little girl goes on a walk to her grandma’s house and along the way counts all the ways she hears the newly fallen snow. Such a great book to introduce the idea of listening intently and creatively.
Buy it: Ten Ways To Hear Snow on Amazon
Llama Llama Yum Yum Yum! by Anna Dewdney
A Llama Llama book with scratch-and-sniff … yes, please!
Buy it: Llama Llama Yum Yum Yum! on Amazon
Love these five senses activities? Check out Inspiring Science Books for Kids in Elementary School .
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Amazing 5 Senses Activities
Learning about the 5 senses is a great thematic unit for preschoolers, especially at the beginning of the year. Young children are naturally curious about the world around them and often use their senses to explore and learn. When setting up some 5 senses learning centers in the classroom, they give children the opportunity to play, learn and discover in a way that is exciting, hands-on, and developmentally appropriate!
In the classroom, focus on one of the senses each day during circle time. After that opening mini-lesson, the students get to work on their centers. It is easy to have dramatic play , blocks , and the art easel available. In addition to those, set up a different exploring station each day of the unit. These are a few of our very favorite ideas for each station:
Water Xylophone | Learn Play Imagine Sound Matching Game | Play to Learn Preschool Musical Shakers and Rain Makers | Adventures of Adam Making Music with the Glockenspiel | Gift of Curiosity
Sense of Hearing Science Center | Play to Learn Preschool
Five Senses Activity with Scratch and Sniff Names | Fun-a-Day Scented Painting Activity | Play to Learn Preschool Coffee Bean Playdough | My Nearest and Dearest Painting with Seasoning and Spices | Learn with Play at Home
Sense of Touch Science Center | Play to Learn Preschool Texture Tray Sensory Play for Preschool | No Time for Flashcards Stretchy Oobleck | Raising Dragons Sense of Touch Mystery Bag | A Mom with a Lesson Plan
Rainbow Discovery Bottles | Play to Learn Preschool Ice Cream Color Grading | Gift of Curiosity Celery Absorbing Colored Water | Learn Play Imagine
Sense of Sight Science Center | Play to Learn Preschool
Apple Taste Test | Play to Learn Preschool Lemon Foods Taste Test Science Investigation | Fantastic Fun and Learning The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Sense of Taste | Adventures of Adam Fun with Tasting Bottles | Gift of Curiosity
All 5 Senses!
Popcorn 5 Senses Activity | Play to Learn Preschool 5 Senses Interactive Bulletin Board | Play to Learn Preschool 5 Senses Activities Compilation | Play to Learn Preschool
Looking for Books? Check out PTL’s library list!
The Ultimate List of Books about the Five Senses
Check out this Resource from my Shop!
Five Senses Preschool Unit
Activate all your students’ senses in this engaging 5 Senses Preschool Unit . Ten daily lesson plans, printable activities, classroom posters, as well as literacy, math, and fine motor centers are included.
- 10 circle time lessons
- 9 math, literacy, & fine motor centers
- Book Recommendations
What are some of your favorite 5 senses activities? If you’re looking for even more ideas, be sure to follow this Pinterest board:
Follow Play to Learn Preschool’s board Science: 5 Senses on Pinterest.
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14 Activities Based Around The 5 Senses For Preschool Children
- September 15, 2021
The five senses are all that children have to stay engaged in the world around them. It is also one of the most powerful tools that can help foster or improve young children’s oral language skills, written language skills, and sensory-motor experiences.
Working on all of the senses at once will increase the child’s cognitive development, vocabulary, and verbal skills and increase their knowledge of these senses. Additionally, it will help them understand how those senses translate into things that they would normally see, taste, touch, smell, and hear.
To stimulate these five important parts of a child’s world, parents must use a variety of activities with a variety of objects or materials so that their child can have a grasp on each sense being used.
The following are some ideas that will help you provide your child with the opportunity to work and explore the five senses.
Sense of Hearing
1. Play a Sound-Matching Game
This activity from Play to Learn Preschool is excellent in helping children improve their sense of hearing. To perform this activity, first, you need to gather the important supplies. You may need to have a dozen plastic eggs and several small items like Paper Clips, Unifix Cube, Dry Beans, and Buttons. Fill plastic eggs with a variety of small items available. Then, ask children to shake them up and find if they identify what’s inside based on the sound produced from the eggs.
2. How Sound Helps You Make Decision
It is a great activity to help children understand that while the five senses gather information, the brain does all the work and helps us interpret and make firm decisions. You can use this activity with a sense of hearing and any other senses. You can find more details at Completely Kindergarten .
3. Head Outdoors for a Listening Platform
Before performing the activity, introduce the fun of heading outdoor by reading “The Listening Book” by Paul Showers . Afterward, get your kids ready for an outdoor fun activity. Provide them with a checklist to mark what sound they heard from outside. You can find further details about this activity at Teach Preschool .
Sense of Smell
4. Scent Hunt Game
It teaches kids about the sense of smell in an exciting way. In this game, kids will move around the room, sniffing pictures posted around the house and determine whether it has scent or not. To perform this activity, you may need scented essential oil or body spray and printable pictures, which you can download at PreKinders .
5. Smelling Sensory Bottles Activity
Collect a couple of spice containers and put a cotton ball in each container with an essential extract. Ask children to sniff the containers without looking and see if they can identify the smells. Smelling Sensory Bottle Activity is indeed a fun activity to perform.
Sense of Taste
6. Apple Taste Test
Engage children in this wonderful activity. It is easy for kids to recognize the taste of an apple. To perform this activity, first, you need to prepare six apples in different colors. Then cut them into small slices and prepare pieces of each apple. Next, ask children to taste each apple and name the color of the slice they are tasting. They will be amazed to know that they can also identify different kinds of apples. To find further details, you can visit Play to Learn Preschool .
7. What Flavor Is It
This unique activity by Stay at Home Educator is a huge hit for kids. Jelly Belly jellybeans are the preferred item for this activity as they have a distinctive and intense flavor. Share the jellybeans with kids and encourage them to distinguish the different flavors from one another.
Sense of Touch
8. Mystery Touch Boxes
Gather about six empty cube-shaped tissue boxes and turn them into mystery touch boxes . Drop a variety of items into the box. Then let kids reach into the box, touch the items, and see if they can identify the texture that matches their feelings.
9. Describing Different Items with Sense of Touch
Ask your kids to feel different things and list the words they used to describe the items. You will be surprised to hear some of the best descriptive words. To know more about the activity, visit Some of this and Some of That .
Sense of Sight
10. Explore Sense of Sight with Magnifying Glass
Children will love to explore with a magnifying glass to see what they can discover. But, you can also take it up a notch by providing them with some other very small objects. To find out how you may visit Stay at Home Educator .
11. Wear a Pair of Lookers and Discover the World Around
The Looking Book by P.K. Hallinan i s a great way to let children explore the sense of sight. The book shared the story of two boys who love spending much time in front of a screen. Their mother gives them each a pair of lookers and lets them discover the world around them. Give your kids each pair of “lookers,” like the boys from the story, allow them to go outside and explore many things. Find out more of this activity at Mrs. Jones’ Creation Station .
12. 5 Senses Pop Rocks Activity
It is super easy and quick to set up activities from Little Bins for Little Hands . It will bring out your child’s adventurous side. Tear open a few bags of Pop Rocks candy and ask your kids to use their five senses to experience them to the fullest.
13. Explore Popcorn with Your Senses
This popcorn activity by Play to Learn Preschool will provide your preschoolers festive and fun learning on the five senses. First, use an old-fashioned air popper to make fresh popcorn. Then, allow your child to watch the process and utilize their other senses. Let them hear the popping sound and smell the aroma of the popcorn. Next, children can use their sense of touch to scoop the popcorn into a tray or bowl and finally taste it.
14. Putting together a Senses Station for Kids
We Have Kids will help you to come up with an excellent Senses Station for Kids . It is a great way to expose your kids to the five senses while providing them with some hands-on activities too. A sense station can be very useful at home or in the classroom.
Each one of us possesses the five senses. A child is only as good as the information he receives from their five senses. Through this activity, we can help our kids better understand what the world looks like, sounds like, tastes like, and feels like through their eyes and ears and hands and feet. With these simple yet effective activities, we hope your kids will be more aware of how they use the five senses.
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20 Engaging 5 Senses Activities
Introduce the 5 senses to preschoolers with these hands-on and printable 5 senses activities. Great for adding to your preschool unit on exploring the body’s senses! What are the 5 senses? They are sight, taste, touch, sound, and smell! Learn about the world around you with activities that use all 5 senses, or focus on one at a time. An easy way to make preschool science activities playful, fun, and engaging! Discover the world together!
What are the 5 Senses?
If you are going to explore the 5 senses, you need to know what they are first! The 5 senses include touch, taste, sound, sight, and smell. These concepts are super easy to explore with junior scientists because we use our 5 senses every day in many ways.
The senses are how we explore and learn about the world around us. Textures and colors ignite our senses of touch and sight.
New foods and tasty goodies explore our sense of taste, even if they aren’t so tasty. Smells like peppermint or cinnamon bring back memories or make us feel more in tune with the season or holiday.
The wind rustling the leaves, the waves breaking on the shore, our footsteps walking along a wooded path, or the call of a bird overhead are fantastic opportunities for listening to our senses!
Take a look at our sensory science list to read more about combining science and sensory play as well engaging the 5 senses.
Why is Learning About the 5 Senses Important?
Learning about the five senses is important for preschoolers because it lays the foundation for their understanding of the world around them. The five senses — sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell — provide essential information that helps kids make sense of their environment, interact with others, and develop various cognitive, social, and emotional skills.
Here’s why learning about the five senses is important for preschoolers:
Understanding The World
The five senses allow preschoolers to explore and understand the world around them. They learn to differentiate between objects, people, and experiences based on how they look, sound, feel, taste, and smell.
Creativity and Imagination: Learning about the five senses sparks creativity and imagination. Children can use their sensory experiences to invent stories, create art, and engage in imaginative play.
Language Development: Learning about the five senses introduces children to new vocabulary and helps them express themselves more effectively. Describing sensory experiences enhances their language skills and enables them to communicate their thoughts and feelings.
Cognitive Development: Engaging with the five senses helps develop cognitive skills like observation, comparison, and categorization. Children learn to recognize patterns, similarities, and differences, which are essential cognitive processes.
Social and Emotional Development: The five senses play a role in social interactions. Children learn to read others’ emotions and intentions through facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice. They also develop empathy and consideration for others’ sensory preferences and sensitivities.
Fine and Gross Motor Skills: Engaging with their senses enhances both fine and gross motor skills. Activities like painting, drawing, building with blocks, and playing with different textures promote the development of hand-eye coordination and muscle control.
Scientific Inquiry: Learning about the five senses provides a basic introduction to scientific inquiry. Preschoolers begin to ask questions about how things work, why they feel or taste a certain way, and how their senses help them understand the world.
Critical Thinking: Exploring their senses encourages preschoolers to think critically and make connections between their sensory experiences and the concepts they learn. They start to develop reasoning skills by asking questions like “Why does this smell different from that?” or “How come this tastes sour?”
Safety Awareness: Understanding their senses helps preschoolers stay safe. They learn to identify potential dangers based on sensory cues, such as recognizing the smell of something burning or the sound of an approaching vehicle.
Healthy Habits: Developing an awareness of their senses can encourage healthy habits. Preschoolers can learn to make healthy food choices based on taste and smell, and they can develop good hygiene practices that involve touch and smell.
Observation and the 5 Senses
Observation in science begins with using our senses to gather information about the world around us. It involves using science process skills, paying close attention to details, making careful notes or drawings, and using tools to help us make better observations.
Making observations is an essential skill in science because it leads to collecting data and gathering evidence to support or refute hypotheses down the track. Learn more about using the scientific method with kids.
Observing is also a good way for us to explore and learn about the natural world. Young children learn when they make observations in new situations, especially with science sensory experiences.
Let’s take a closer look at how kids can practice making observations using their 5 senses:
Observing through sight involves looking closely at objects and noting their color, shape, size, and patterns. For example; start a seed jar or grow crystals!
Observing through hearing involves listening to sounds around them and identifying their source. Kids can listen to bird songs, the rustling of leaves, or the sound of raindrops. For example; try a water xylophone !
Observe through touch to explore the texture, temperature, and hardness of objects. Kids can touch different types of materials such as sand, water, feathers, or bark. Try making oobleck or slime .
Observing through taste involves exploring the flavors of different foods or substances. They can describe the tastes as sweet, sour, bitter, or salty. Try fizzy lemonade or a Candy Taste Test !
Observing through smell involves detecting and describe odors. Kids can explore different scents in their environment, such as flowers, fruits, or spices. For example; paint with spice paint !
List of 5 Senses Books
Read a book together and talk about the 5 senses. F irst, t alk about what you can and can not touch. Next, talk about how you can see something and not hear it. Then, think of times you use more than one sense.
Here are some books about the 5 senses for you to enjoy. ( I am an Amazon Affiliate )
You can find even more 5 Senses book suggestions in our printable 5 Senses preschool pack at the end!
Y ou Can’t Taste a Pickle with Your Ear by Harriet Ziefert : Seeing, smelling, hearing, touching, tasting is there a child who doesn’t wonder how the five senses work?
This Beach is Loud! by Samantha Cotterill: But it can also be busy. And loud. Sand can feel hot or itchy or sticky… and it gets everywhere! In This Beach Is Loud!, a sensitive boy gets overwhelmed by all the sights, sounds, and sensations at the beach.
The Magic School Bus Explores the Senses by Joanna Cole: On a most sense-sational trip that takes them through an eye, an ear, a tongue, and even a dog’s nose, Ms. Frizzle’s class learns about the senses.
Look, Listen, Taste, Touch, and Smell: Learning About Your Five Senses (The Amazing Body) by Pamela Hill Nettleton : Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching ― our bodies do all kinds of amazing things! It’s a colorful introduction to the five senses ― sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch ― and the organs that perform these functions. A must for any emerging science fan.
My 5 Senses (Let’s Read and Find Out) by Aliki: Sight, smell, taste, hearing, and touch—our five senses teach us about our world. Beloved author-illustrator Aliki’s simple, engaging text and colorful artwork show young readers how they use their senses to smell a rose or play with a puppy.
Get Your Free Printable 5 Senses Worksheets!
5 Senses Activities For Kids
Color mixing fun.
What happens when you mix primary colors together? Set up three bowls of colored water – one with red, one with blue, and one with yellow. Provide small plastic droppers and white coffee filters. Get kids to mix different colors by using the droppers to combine the colored water on the coffee filters. What colors do they make? Combine with our printable color mixing worksheet.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
Getting kids outdoors and going on a nature walk is a great way to develop observation skills and appreciation for the natural world. Give kids a list of natural objects to find (e.g. a leaf, a rock, a flower). Encourage them to spot and collect each item with their keen sense of sight.
Introduce the concept of colors and light refraction with a rainbow hunt. Take kids outside on a sunny day and give them small mirrors. Encourage them to hold the mirrors at different angles and observe the rainbows formed by sunlight hitting the mirror’s surface. What colors can they see? Check out more simple ways to make a rainbow.
Provide a flashlight and some small toys or cutouts. Have the children hold the toys in front of the flashlight to see the shadows they create. Experiment with moving the shadow puppets closer and farther away from the light to observe changes in the shadow’s size and shape. Grab our free printable to make your own shadow puppets.
Learn about sound vibrations with your own homemade kazoos. Get kids to create their own kazoos using empty toilet paper rolls and wax paper. Show them how to cover one end of the roll with the wax paper and secure it with a rubber band. Then, have them hum into the open end to produce sound. Discuss how the vibrations of their humming create sound through the kazoo.
Musical Water Glasses
Explore the sense of sound with an easy to make water xylophone. Set up a few glasses with varying levels of water. Provide the children with plastic spoons and encourage them to tap the glasses gently. Let them observe and listen to the different pitches produced by each glass. Experiment with adding or removing water to see how it affects the pitch.
What about listening for the sounds you can hear in nature? Go on another nature walk, but this time, focus on listening to the sounds around them with their eyes closed. Afterward, discuss what they heard and what is the sources of each sound, such as birds chirping or leaves rustling.
Sound Guessing Game
Explore the sense of sound with a fun sound guessing game. Gather various sound-producing objects, such as bells, shakers, and whistles, in a box. Blindfold one child at a time and have them pick an object from the box. They should make the sound without revealing the object’s identity. The rest of the children try to guess which object it is based on the sound it makes.
Sweet or Sour Taste Test
Prepare small cups with different liquids, some sweet (e.g., fruit juice) and others sour (e.g., lemon juice). Blindfold kids and have them taste each liquid. After tasting, ask them to identify if it was sweet or sour and discuss their findings as a group.
Exploring Taste Buds
This time explore the sense of taste with a wide variety of foods, and come up with different words to describe those flavors. Provide kids with various foods, such as salty crackers, sweet fruits, sour candies, and bitter vegetables. Ask them to categorize each food based on its taste. Then, have a discussion about taste buds and how they help us experience different flavors.
LOOK: Apple Taste Test and Candy Taste Test
Edible Soil Layers
Use the sense of taste to understand soil layers and what they are made of. Create edible “soil” cups by layering ingredients like crushed cookies (for rocks), chocolate pudding (for soil), and gummy worms (for worms). Let the children assemble their own cups, and as they eat, talk what each food represents and why it is important to the soil.
Blindfold the children and offer them various small food items with distinct tastes (e.g., grapes, cheese, popcorn, raisins). Ask them to identify each food solely based on taste. Afterward, reveal the items and discuss how taste helps us distinguish different foods.
Put together a sensory table with various textures, such as sandpaper, fabric, sponges, and pebbles. Let the children touch and feel each item. Encourage them to describe the textures using rough, smooth, soft, and hard words.
Mystery Touch Bag
Place various objects with different textures (e.g., a soft plush toy, a rough rock, a squishy ball) in a bag. Have each child reach into the bag one by one to feel the mystery items without looking. Have them guess what they felt and discuss their experiences. See our Guess the Object game.
Sensory Nature Prints
During a nature walk, gather leaves, flowers, and other natural materials with interesting textures. Provide kids with playdough or clay and have them press the natural items into the material to create imprints. Discuss the textures they observe and how they differ from one another.
Hot or Cold
Set up containers with warm water and cold water. Provide spoons and cups, and let kids dip their hands into each container to feel the temperature differences. Discuss their observations and talk about the basic concepts of hot and cold.
Gather various items with distinct scents, such as coffee beans, citrus peels, and flowers. Place each item in separate, airtight jars. Let the children smell each jar without seeing the contents and try to guess what’s inside based on the scent.
Engage the sense of smell while exploring creativity. Prepare a few containers with different scented paints or scented markers. Provide plain white paper and let the children create artwork using the scented materials. As they work, discuss the various scents and ask them to describe how each scent makes them feel. See how to make scented paint.
Make scented playdough using essential oils or natural scents (e.g., lavender, lemon, peppermint). Encourage kids to knead and play with the playdough, exploring the scents as they create different shapes and objects. See how to make apple scented playdough.
Fruity Smell Investigation
Use the sense of smell to explore how fruit decompose over time. Provide a variety of fruits with strong scents, such as bananas, oranges, and lemons. Have the children observe and smell each fruit. Over the course of a few days, revisit the fruits to observe how their scents change as they ripen or decompose, and talk about why that is.
Printable Preschool 5 Senses Pack
Get ready to explore this year with our growing Preschool STEM Bundle !
There are 4 fun preschool themes to get you started. This is an ” I can explore” series!
- My 5 Senses
- All About Me
- Science and Scientist
Each unit contains approximately 15 activities, with instructions and templates as needed. Hands-on activities are provided to keep it fun and exciting. This includes sensory bins, experiments, games, and more! Easy supplies keep it low cost and book suggestions add the learning time.
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Home • Toddler • Education
10 Engaging Five-Senses Activities For Preschoolers To Learn
Teach them about sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.
Ashley KZ Showell MEd
Experience: 12 years
Ashley KZ Showell is a kindergarten teacher with 12 years of experience. She is also the founder of Forwardwithfun.com, where she promotes hands-on learning activities that get children excited about learning. She graduated from UCLA in 201... more
nisha bharatan B.Tech
Specialty: Kids Fun and Developmental Activities
Experience: 6 years
Nisha Bharatan is a writer with six years of experience. After completing her engineering from Savitribai Phule Pune University, she did content marketing courses to complement her interest in writing... more
rohit garoo BSc, MBA
Specialty: Baby Health and Wellness
Experience: 9 years
Rohit Garoo is a writer-turned-editor with over 9 years of experience in content writing, editing, and content marketing. He did his bachelors in Science at St. Xavier's College, Hyderabad, and master... more
vibha navarathna MCA
Specialty: Pregnancy, Nursing and Baby Products
Experience: 3 years
Vibha is a coder turned content writer. She holds a Masters degree in Computer Applications from Osmania University, Hyderabad and a certificate in 'Introduction To Child Psychology'. Her passion for ... more
Hear, see, touch, smell, and taste! Are your curious toddlers licking and touching every random object around them? As toddlers begin to explore their surroundings, they enjoy seeing various colors, smelling odors, tasting, hearing new sounds, and feeling new textures.
Sensory play is one of the best ways to provide your children with the opportunity to explore their sensations . Besides attuning their senses, sensory and sensorimotor activities also promote your child’s motor, fine, and cognitive skill development.
These five senses activities for preschoolers and toddlers can engage them in hours of play while letting their imagination and creativity peak.
10 Five Senses Activities For Preschoolers And Toddlers
This list of 5 senses activities for preschoolers can help you keep them engaged when you run out of ideas or anytime you want to introduce sensory play for fun.
1. Sound match
This game helps in honing their listening skills. It teaches children the importance of staying quiet while developing problem-solving and negotiation skills.
For this game, you will need several plastic eggs in different colors. Fill random items such as rice, beans, paper clips, beads, bells, etc., into two eggs each. Now, children have to pick each egg up, shake it, listen, and determine the type of sound coming from it. Then, they must place it near the egg with the same sound. Furthermore, they can move two distinct eggs together to generate new sounds.
2. Senses sorting
Children enjoy and benefit from sorting games. With this five senses activity for preschool children, you can teach them the functions of each sensory organ. It is easy to organize. You can get printables for the game online, or you can DIY them.
All you need is a muffin tin, a strip of paper in each cup naming the sensory organ, its function, and a few objects to sort. Then, the children examine each object, classify them, and put them in the corresponding cups. For example, they can put a whistle into the “hearing” cup, a feather into the “touching” cup, and so on.
3. Popcorn explorers
Popcorn can be quite helpful in organizing a 5 senses activity for preschool. The fact that popcorn is so easy to prepare and consume only adds to its advantages. Watch your preschoolers polish off all the popcorn while learning something new. However, ensure to take caution that they don’t choke.
While you make popcorn, let them pay attention to the popping sound engaging their hearing senses. The aromas of the delicious popcorns engage their sense of smell. Using their sense of touch kids put the popcorn in a bag. Now, let them decide if they want to use their eyes or tongue to satisfy their cravings.
4. Sandpaper sun
In this activity, kids can feel various textures and learn more about them.
Take two sheets of sandpaper. Draw and cut out a circle on one sheet. Paint it in shades of the sun, on the other sheet, the children finger- or hand-paint the entire surface . Once it dries, cut out sun-rays and stick them to the sun. Now, let your children explore various textures and engage their senses.
5. Ice cream test
This is one of the most enjoyable five senses activities for preschool. Children might even ask you to get new ice creams daily for a “taste test” to satisfy their taste buds.
First, you’ll need ice creams in different flavors. Add scoops of all ice creams in different cups. You could also mix a couple or more of them. Blindfold the children. Feed them a spoon of ice cream and let them guess the flavor of each ice-cream.
6. Water xylophone
If your child loves music, they are sure to enjoy this activity. It helps in developing a child’s hearing and deduction skills.
Get similar-looking flower vases. You could also use glasses or cups. First, pour water into each of them ensuring the water levels vary in each container. Next, give your child a spoon. Now, the child taps each vase gently to generate a sound. They can also sing along with this music. In addition, older children may be able to compare sound or pitch variations. Isn’t this water xylophone quite fun?
7. Texture collage
If you are up for some messy play with your children, texture collage is a good activity to try.
Get a large sheet of paper. For the collage, find as many items of different textures as you can around your home. You can choose different fabrics, leaves, feathers, beads of different textures, fur, and even pieces of wood or metal. Apply some glue on the paper and stick these items together to create a beautiful collage. Once it is complete, encourage your children to close their eyes and run their fingers on each texture. This is a great group activity as well. You can further ask children to exchange their collages and find various textures.
8. Visual tracking
Did you know, the most common method of tracking is following a color? With this easy activity, you improve your child’s visual tracking skills as well as logical thinking abilities.
Gather as many recycled water bottle caps as possible. Use round dot labels or colorful markers to color the inside of each cap. Color them using bright colors. Then, get some pom-poms. Place the caps and the pom-poms on the floor. Now, children have to hunt for caps with the same colors as the pom-poms and put the pom-poms in the cap with the matching color. You can ask them to close their eyes while doing this activity. You can also perform other activities with these items, such as peripheral tracking and staring.
9. Scented playdough
Though your children can identify various scents, they often do not know the names of those smells. This activity puts their nose to the test!
Get some white, unscented playdough along with some artificial flavors (strawberry, lime, vanilla, etc.) and food coloring. Divide the playdough into sections and add some color and flavor to each. Knead it all well and freeze the dough. Now, give these playdough sections to your children and see if your child can recognize the smell of each playdough section.
10. Eye spy bag
Eye spy bags can be fun for your little one. DIY your very own eye spy bag using random objects and let your child “discover” what’s inside.
Take a Ziplock bag and put some tiny objects into it. You can put in beads, sequins, or anything you like. Then fill the bag with clear body wash and swish all the objects around it so that they appear to be floating. You may add some soap color to the liquid at this point. Once everything is mixed well, and all the objects are merrily floating, seal the bag and then cover the mouth with duct tape for some extra protection. Let your children run their fingers over the bag and find each object. In other words, they should use touch to visualize the objects.
Reema, the mother of a pre-schooler, shares her experience of playing with eye spy bags, which she calls “the stereognostic game.” She says, “We played stereognostic game to train our sense of touch…So, after having played the game with household objects, we played the game with two types of mystery bags – one with sets of 5 pairs of spheres that vary in size and one with 8 different pairs of small 3D geometrical solids. First we inspected all the objects and then I blindfolded my daughter and she matched all the pairs. But instead of a closed bag, I used an open box. Super fun!! These are the products I used for the activity (i) .”
Sensory activities are easy to organize and a lot of fun to play. They provide your tiny tots with hours of entertainment on days when they cannot step out. You can use these activity ideas at home or at preschools too.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I explain the five senses to preschoolers?
One of the most effective ways to teach preschoolers about the five senses is by helping them experience each sense. Having them touch, taste, smell, hear, and see different objects through fun activities will make the lesson more memorable and exciting.
2. Why is it important for children to learn about the five senses?
Children’s cognitive development is shaped by their experiences, which they perceive through their five senses. Hence, teaching children about their senses helps build and heighten their engagement with various stimuli.
3. How can I make sensory activities educational for my preschooler?
To ensure that sensory activities are educational for your preschooler, include a range of textures, colors, and scents that engage their senses. Incorporate concepts such as counting, sorting, and shape recognition to encourage problem-solving, language development, and exploration within the sensory play experience.
4. How can I create a sensory bin for my preschooler to explore?
To create a sensory bin for your preschooler, pick a container with tall sides to keep the materials contained. Next, select a base material like dry rice, beans, or kinetic sand. Include a variety of objects connected to a specific theme or educational idea, such as toy animals, letters, or colored shapes. Ensure the bin is large enough for the child to explore without spilling the filler.
Sensory activities such as 5 senses activities for preschoolers are great to hone your kid’s sensory abilities and also allow them to discover the various sensations. Besides promoting their senses of smell, taste, touch, sight, and hearing, these activities also help enhance imagination and creative thinking and develop vital skills. Whether tracking sounds or food tasting, or painting activities, children would love them all. Children receive numerous stimuli throughout the day, and engaging in these activities will help hone their senses. So choose an age-specific activity to engage and entertain your tiny tots for hours, especially when they cannot go outdoors, and watch them enjoy a day of self-discovery.
Infographic: Five Senses Activities For Preschoolers And Toddlers
Illustration: Momjunction Design Team
Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.
- The five senses let us explore the world around us, and you may help improve these in preschoolers through activities.
- Five senses activities exercise a specific sense through relevant objects and actions.
- Activities involving the five senses improve a toddler’s lateral thinking and other vital skills.
Personal Experiences: Source
i. Sense of touch activities for kids. https://raisingshanaya.wordpress.com/2019/09/28/sense-of-touch-activities-for-kids/
Ashley KZ Showell BA, MEd
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Preschool Activities That Feature the Five Senses
The senses are the first and best resources for preschoolers to learn. The five senses help children explore the world and make sense of what’s around them. These activities to help kids use their senses in lots of different ways.
1. Five Senses (Pre-K Pages)
2. One Color Sensory Bin (Pre-K Pages)
3. Science Texture Board (Pre-K Pages)
4. Sound Shakers (Pre-K Pages)
5. 5 Senses: Blindfold Games (Prekinders)
6. 5 Senses: Scent Hunt Game (Prekinders)
7. 5 Senses: Taste Test Activities (Prekinders)
8. I Can See: Drawing the Five Senses (Teach Preschool)
9. Senses Discover and Explore Kit (Teach Preschool)
10. Exploration of Smell (Teach Preschool)
11. Exploration of Sound (Teach Preschool)
12. High Five for Our Sense of Touch (Teach Preschool)
13. Scratch and Sniff Names (Fun-a-Day)
14. Apple Science Senses Activity (Little Bins for Little Hands)
15. Five Senses Discovery Table (Little Bins for Little Hands)
16. Five Senses Pop Rocks Experiment (Little Bins for Little Hands)
17. Exploring the Alphabet with Your 5 Senses (Growing Book by Book)
18. My Five Senses Book for Kids (Still Playing School)
19. Scented Cotton Ball Matching Game (Rhythms of Play)
20. Coconut Senses Activity (Fun-a-Day)
21. Number Sound Boxes (Munchkins and Moms)
22. 5 Senses Potato Head Game (A Little Pinch of Perfect)
23. Draw How It Sounds (Brick by Brick)
24. Three Ways to Explore the Sense of Hearing (Learn Play Imagine)
25. Texture Tray (No Time for Flash Cards)
26. Scented Painting (No Time for Flash Cards)
27. Sound Safari (No Time for Flash Cards)
28. Color Grading Activity (Gift of Curiosity)
29. Identifying 3D Shapes by Touch (Gift of Curiosity)
30. My 5 Senses and Popcorn (I Heart Crafty Things)
31. Scented Textured Finger Paints (Parenting Chaos)
32. Scented Sidewalk Paint (Parenting Chaos)
33. Glow in the Dark Sensory Rice (Parenting Chaos)
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28 Hands-On 5 Senses Activities for Preschool, Pre-k, and Kindergarten
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Explore these 5 senses activities to help students understand their body and learn about these important features. My little learners love learning about their senses, and these activities are designed to be hands-on, captivating, and educational for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students. Plus, I have a 5 senses activities FREEBIE just for you!
Grab the 5 senses activities printables to get you started! Little Learners 5 Senses Science unit & Gingerbread 5 Senses Science unit for a fun holiday twist!
Grab the FREE 5 senses printable at the bottom of the post to kickstart your 5 senses activities!
This post contains affiliate links, which means I earn a tiny commission when you use my links at no cost to you.
5 Senses Activities Freebie
Popcorn Experiment! Introduce your 5 senses unit with a popcorn experiment! Kids love popcorn, and it hits all the senses in this fun, interactive experiment. Students taste, touch, smell, see, and hear the popcorn while learning about their 5 senses. This could also be a great way to end your 5 senses unit for a hands-on recap.
>>Grab the 5 senses FREEBIE by filling in your email in the box at the bottom of this post, and it will be sent to you!<<
5 Senses Activities for Touch
Touch Science Table ! Set up a touch science table to allow your young children to explore their sense of feeling or touch. I have books, journal papers, and a few hands-on sorting games they can play.
I hide things in black socks so they can’t see it. Then, they stick their hands in and try to guess what is inside without looking. My students love these touch games! Plus they are developing fine motor skills while learning about the sense of touch.
Touch Book Basket! Also on my touch science table is a basket of books perfect for touching! These titles feature areas to touch and feel with tons of different textures and materials. The Never Touch a … titles are a great addition to a senses book basket.
DIY Sensory Walk! Create your own sensory walk for science time or use it during indoor recess or gross motor time. I glued different textures and materials to pieces of cardstock. Students took their shoes and socks off and walked across the pages. They were able to feel all the different textures with their feet.
Sensory Bag Writing! To give students another touch opportunity, we practice writing on a sensory bag. This is a hair gel bag with glitter and a little bit of liquid watercolor mixed inside. Students can use their fingers or a pom pom to write letters, numbers, words, etc. Click here to get step-by-step directions for making a sensory bag.
Sandpaper and Cinnamon Writing! I love these 5 senses activities for writing! Grab some sandpaper and cinnamon sticks to make your own letter sheets. Write the letters or numbers on the sandpaper. Then, students can use their fingers to trace the letters. For even more sensory, give them a cinnamon stick to trace the letter with. This not only gives them a chance to learn about touch but also smell! Plus your room will smell amazing when they are done!
5 Senses Activities for Smell
Smell Science Table ! Check out my science table all about the sense of smell. There are books, journal pages, smell sorts, and a smelling exploration. Your young children will love the matching smell game. The science table is a great place to give students more opportunities for social interaction, sensory activities, and help develop problem-solving skills.
I place smelly items in the salt and pepper shakers from the dollar store. I put tape around them so students can see inside as easily. This is the best way I have found to kind of hide the materials inside. Then, students smell the shakers and guess what is inside by placing a small picture on the velcro. You can also place cotton balls with different scents of essential oils on them inside the shakers.
Smelly Writing! For an easy smell center for 5 senses activities, grab some smelly markers and paper. Students can explore the scents while writing and drawing in the classroom.
Smelly Painting! Create a smelly painting by mixing your paint with liquid extracts from the cooking aisle. I made maple, banana, and orange paints so that they were scents that my students would recognize.
Smelly Play Dough! Add Kool-Aid powder to your homemade play dough to make it smelly! I also added liquid watercolor to make the colors more vibrant! If you are learning about the 5 senses during the holidays, I like to add cinnamon to my homemade play dough. My students love the different smells, and this makes great multi sensory experiences for your students.
5 Senses Activities for Hearing
Hearing Science Table ! Set up a science table all about the sense of hearing. I like to have books, journal papers, hearing sort, and a hearing activity.
Create a hearing exploration with some small containers filled with a variety of objects that sound differently when shaken. I put tape around the containers so students can’t see what is inside until they flip it over to check their guesses.
Hearing Book Basket! Check out some of my favorite hearing books that I use in my preschool room. These sound books are perfect for exposing students to a variety of sounds from different environments.
Sound Walk! Go on a sound walk around the school or outside. I like to read the book The Listening Walk . Then we go outside if the weather is nice or walk around the school building listening. Use the recording page to keep track of things that you hear.
Explore Instruments! One way to explore the sense of hearing is by using musical instruments in the classroom. My students love making music while learning about the sense of hearing.
Sound Tempos! Give students a chance to get out their extra energy while they explore tempos and hearing. My students are using ribbon shakers to move and dance with. They are pieces of ribbon tied to plastic bracelets. Talk about fast and slow tempos during this activity.
Sound Shakers! Use plastic eggs and fill them with different objects for different sounds. Then tape them shut. So easy but such a fun learning experience. I also use these during dance parties, indoor recess, and gross motor time. Your students will have a lot of fun shaking and moving with these simple egg shakers.
5 Senses Activities for Sight
Sight Science Table! Check out my sight science table for preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten students. Lots of books, journal pages, and sight activities. My students love the I Spy bottles for a fun activity about the sense of sight.
I Spy Bottles! Create I spy bottles for a fun and engaging sight activity. Students will look for objects in the bottles. I also have a bunch of sensory bottles for tons of themes throughout the year. You can find them here . You could also create these on a larger scale in sensory bins for students to touch and spy various items. That would be so much fun for kids of all ages!
Sight Book Basket! In my book basket for sight, I love these books for preschool students. My students love I Spy books and these board ones are simple and perfect for little minds.
Math & Literacy I Spy Bottles! If your students love the I spy bottles like mine do, I also created math and literacy I spy bottles. I have a number, shapes, names, and letters bottle. There are also FREE worksheets that go with the bottles to guide students in what they should be looking for.
To get step-by-step directions and FREE printables for the other I spy bottles just click the words for the one you would like to make: numbers , shapes , names , and letters .
I Spy Classroom Hunts! Give your students a magnifying glass and watch them explore their environment. I like to give them a list of things to find around the room, but you could also just let them freely explore their area. If the weather is nice, go on a nature walk! Outside, you can hear various sounds, see different colors, touch various items, smell different scents, and maybe taste a thing or two.
5 Senses Activities for Taste
Taste Test ! Explore the sense of taste with a fun taste test in the classroom. I use pretzels, lemons, cookies, and dark chocolate for my taste test. Grab the printables for this fun exploration here . We do this as a whole class activity for students to practice making inferences, gather data, and describe results. We also talk about our taste buds.
5 Senses Tu bs! If your classroom is small, you can make a tub for each sense to have for your students. When we talk about each one, I show them everything in the tub, and then they can get things out during center time. If there is a tub that is very popular, I will leave it out for longer than the unit until they become bored with it.
5 Senses Anchor Chart ! Create this anchor chart with your students for interactive 5 senses activities that teach. Use the anchor chart printables to get started and then help students add more ideas.
5 Senses Sort ! Give students these hands-on 5 senses activities with some sorting mats. Students can look at the pictures and sort them by the sense that they will use with it.
I hope you enjoyed these 5 senses activities, and I can’t wait to see what you do in your classroom! My students love a five senses unit and learn so much. You can do it at the beginning of the year with your all about me theme or during the holidays with a gingerbread twist.
Click the pictures below to grab the 5 senses printables that you need for your lesson plans!
Want to see these 5 senses activities in action? Just click the picture below for a video!
Grab the 5 senses FREEBIE by filling in the box below!
Love these 5 senses activities? Pin this image!
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I’m Jackie, your go-to girl for early childhood inspiration and research-based curriculum.
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Hands On As We Grow®
Hands on kids activities for hands on moms. Focusing on kids activities perfect for toddlers and preschoolers.
48 Five Senses Activities for Kids to Explore All Five
Sensory All Ages Resources Sensory 17 Comments
These sensory activities are a perfect way for kids to explore through their five senses.
There’s never a right or wrong way to do it, and there’s never an end outcome to expect. Which is one of the best things about them!
That’s what makes these excellent for the youngest kids! So, even preschoolers and older kids have lots they can learn by using their senses.
In the past, we’ve shared many sensory activities for kids to do (check out our 25 sensory activities for kids , our sensory weekly plan of activities , and many more edible sensory ideas ).
However, most of these sensory activities have been limited to touch.
This is because touching sensory activities are the easiest to implement, and may very well be the most intriguing for the kids.
But what about sound, smell, sight and taste activities?
Five senses activities are a must for young kids, especially young toddlers and even babies. Here are 48 ways to explore the 4 forgotten non-touch senses.
Download a week of sensory activities to do this week
So, today, we’re digging a little deeper into sensory activities and sharing ideas that explore with the four senses that are often forgotten.
Below you’ll find:
- First, sensory activities that explore smell with their nose
- Second, sensory activities that use sound to explore
- Third, sensory activities that explore with their sight
- Lastly, sensory activities that use taste to explore
48 Sensory activities for kids to explore using all five senses!
Sense of smell activities:.
Let’s get started! This might get a little stinky… But use that nose to find out what smells!
Does it smell good? Can you describe how it smells? Do they smell the same? Can you tell me what is making the smell?
These are all great questions to keep in mind as you explore these activities and smell with your noses!
Sense of Sound Activities:
Let’s move onto listening and sound. Because I don’t know a single parent that doesn’t think their child could listen better, right?
Use these sound sensory activities as a way to get your child to turn on their listening ears and see what they can hear!
Do you hear the difference? Is this one louder or quieter? Does it have a higher pitch or a low roar? Do they sound the same? Have you heard that sound before?
Keep these questions in mind as your explore the wonderful sense of sound with these activities!
Sense of Sight Activities:
Exploring with their sense of sight is hard to put into activity terms as we ‘see’ all day long and use this as our primary sense to explore on an everyday basis.
These activities take it a step further into exploring with your eyes.
Sense of Taste Activities:
Let’s explore through the sense of taste. This is a great way for picky eaters to be introduced to new things.
However, if you have a picky eater, these activities might not go over the best, so introduce them with care and don’t expect it to be a home run off the bat.
Download a sensory week of activities
And finally we can’t forget the sense of touch.
About Mary Catherine
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5 sense coloring says
October 8, 2023 at 4:34 am
It was a very useful article for my child, thank you for sharing.
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Five Senses Activities for Toddlers!
December 28, 2022 by Sarah Leave a Comment
Learning about the five senses is a perfect thing to explore with toddlers! Two-year-olds naturally discover their world using all of their senses, so these five senses activities are naturally engaging.
These crafts and activities are perfect for children from 18 months through to 2 1/2 years old, as they are full of sensory learning. Sensory play helps develop a toddler’s language skills, problem-solving skills, creative thinking, and even builds new brain-nerve connections. How awesome is that?!
Sensory play, and play in general, is amazing for a toddler’s development. So get ready to dive into these fun and easy Five Senses Activities!
In fact, having a simple toddler activity planned for you each and every day is exactly what my Playful Days Toddler Program is all about!
We build vocabulary and a strong knowledge base by playing with all sorts of themes—one of which is The Five Senses! Not only will this provide your little one with a beautiful foundation for learning, but it will provide just the right amount of structure to those long days at home with wee ones, and build beautiful memories as well.
The activities below are great examples of the daily activities you will find in my Playful Days Toddler Program!
You can read all about my Playful Days Toddler Program right here: https://www.howweelearn.com/playfuldays/
And just before we dive into these five senses activities for toddlers, would you like a fun printable to enjoy together? This one is totally free and a wonderful, learning-filled activity for you to enjoy with your toddler. You can grab it right here:
Five Senses Activities for Toddlers
These activities are great examples of similar activities that can be found in my Playful Days Toddler Program.
Five Senses Outside – I have actually already written about playing and learning with our five senses on the blog, back when we took that learning outside! Check out how we learned about the sense of sight, sound, touch, scent, and taste on our nature walk.
What’s in the Box – This simple set-up is so fun for toddlers! Of course, the box doesn’t need to be decorated at all, just pop something inside and have your little one try to figure out what it is with only his sense of touch. You can give clues and watch that vocabulary blossom before your very eyes!
Guess the Shape by Mrs. Plemons Kindergarten – This fun idea is one you could use again and again, no matter the theme you are playing with. Toddlers will love to develop their sense of touch by trying to guess what is being drawn on their back. Be sure to keep it nice and simple and begin by having your toddler guess between only two options, such as, “Is it a line or a circle?”
Sensory Snack by Surprisingly Special – This is such a fun 5 senses activity for toddlers! Poke some holes in paper cups, or simply blindfold your child, and see if they can sniff to determine what the snack is.
Exploring Sound and Texture by Fantastic Fun and Learning – Use some small cars and trucks to explore how different textures feel and sound! Such a simple exploration that is perfect for toddlers to experience.
Texture Collage by Modern Homestead Mama – This is a great 5 senses craft for toddlers! Gather as many different textures as you can find around your home and let your toddler create a collage.
Jello Sensory Play by Mrs Plemons Kindergarten – Explore the sense of touch and taste with this squishy Jello sensory bin! What toddler wouldn’t adore this one?
There you have them, my friend! Lots of fun ways to explore the five senses as you dive into play with your toddler.
The five senses is one of the seven themes found within my Playful Days Toddler Program. If you are ready to simplify your life AND break up your day, you are definitely going to want to check it out right here: https://www.howweelearn.com/playfuldays/
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